The Politics of Form in Early Modern Europe

Event Date: 
27 Jun 2019 to 28 Jun 2019

Université Paris-Est Créteil / Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3

Many early modern literary and artistic works were produced for specific social and political events which inflected their form and content. Attention to contexts of production and performance is essential for understanding these works, which, nevertheless, also arose out of formal and aesthetic decisions. Any courtly activity necessarily had political implications, right down to the most intimate actions — such as the public celebration of the wedding night for some royal couples. The lives of courtier poets, musicians and dancers thus differed greatly from the images of bohemian artists, unrecognized geniuses and poètes maudits devised by the Romantics. This conference proposes to re-examine the relationship between the arts (broadly construed to include literature and the visual and performing arts) and politics, paying special attention to the original contexts in which works were produced or performed so that the political implications of aesthetic choices may become clearer. We shall focus, in particular, on the way forms (be they linguistic, generic, metrical, material, visual or musical) might carry complex political meanings — for even forms that are clearly designed to flatter the sovereign are able to suggest advice, criticism or subtle negotiation. This conference will also be an opportunity to interrogate the very notion of form across disciplines. Proposals comprising paper title, abstract (300 words max) and brief biography (150 words max) should be sent by September 15, 2018 to:

Submission date for papers: 
15 Sep 2018